In a big year of firsts and new clubs in the Puget Sound area you can now add the Seattle Synergy to your soccer radar. This fledgling club will play in the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) in 2009 and give local female players a stepping stone to the W-League and Women's Professional Soccer (WPS.)
I spoke with Synergy head coach Jay Jones about the (latest) new team in town.
How did Seattle Synergy come into being? Who is involved in the start up?
This is an exciting story! It all was started by a private company with international ties in order to promote quality women’s soccer on a US and international basis. The owner has Olympic history as a world class athlete and is really thrilled to provide a forum for our local women athletes. I am so ecstatic to have the honor to be apart of this organization and Coach at this level with world class talent!
What are the main goals for the club in year one? How about beyond that?
Our main goals for this team this year are to gather an exceptional group of women athletes who want to further their soccer development and careers. There are a lot of quality athletes that did not make the WPS combine and are now looking for some where to go. At the latest WPS draft 9 of the firstt 11 drafted players had WPSL ties. This just proves the amazing talent out there in this league and the need for a team here in Seattle. The Puget Sound area has great depth in its elite clubs, high schools, colleges and former pro players. Our area has the right players pool for this level of play. I have been contacted from collegiate players as far as California, that are originally from Washington, that want to be a part of this exciting team.
Where will your first tryouts be and what will you be looking for in your players?
Our 1st tryout was announced yesterday. It will be February 16th from 3-5pm, with registration beginning at 2pm, at Starfire Sports Complex. The Seattle Synergy Staff will be looking for highly talented high school, collegiate, and former collegiate players. Attitude, drive, and skill will get you a chance to get on the team.
Where will the club play its home matches in 2009? Will you have a front office and sell tickets?
Most matches will be at Starfire Stadium. The WPSL requires all games be played in a stadium setting with ticket sales on site. I am extremely thrilled that Starfire is willing to work with the Seattle Synergy by allowing us time at this world class facility. They welcomed us and I am really excited about that. The 2008 WPSL National Championships were held at Starfire last summer and got rave reviews by the entire league, Commissioners and players! Tickets will be on sale at the venue. We will be offering youth club sponsored nights to help promote the youth in our community. Stay tuned for more info…
Talk a little bit about the WPSL. Why did the Synergy want to get involved? How high is the level of play as compared to the W-League (USL)?
This league directly promotes players to the next level of play. The definition of your team in this league is dependent on who is on your roster. It is not uncommon for players with “pro” status to be moved up and down from W-League and WPSL league teams. It’s also for players that don’t make the “cut” at a WPS combine, and want to still develop and compete at a really high level. This team will provide that medium in our local Seattle area. I attended the WPSL Meetings a few weeks ago and I am extremely impressed with the league business plan. This league has a great structure and is very sound. The league staff, Commissioners and team owners are very serious about promoting women’s soccer in this county and want well-run organizations. I admire that motivation. This league is 54 teams strong nationwide. Top names like Tony Diccio have coached in this league (Connecticut) and now he's with the WPS team the Boston Breakers. This league is serious women’s soccer! This can create a great WPS feeder system.
Will you have any connection to the W-League Sounders team that the Tacoma Tide just bought?
I hope to schedule expo games with the Women Sounders! I have admired that organization and team for years. The Seattle Sounders are a “Seattle staple” in the soccer community. They have a top notch coaching staff and organization.
Will you be working in any way with the new WPS? Do you think Seattle could support a WPS club some day?
This would be truly exciting indeed to provide a feeder system to a WPS team. My job is to promote any Seattle Synergy players to the next level and that would be a WPS team. I think again with the dense population of the Pacific Northwest I would love to see our organization become a local forum for players in order for them to get to the next level of play.
How will you get most of your players? Local colleges and clubs?
This team is really designed for elite high school, collegiate, former collegiate players and those wanting to play professionally some day. The season for the WPSL is formed around the college season to enhance the college players' training in the off season. All players must be at least 16 years of age and hold “amateur” status.
How did the club decide on the logo and team colors?
The Seattle Synergy logo and colors are an important choice to reflect our local Pudget Sound area. It also encompasses the local feeling of “synergy” in Seattle Community. There are over 130,000 youth and 100,000 adult soccer players in WA. I can’t think of a better name!
What do you think the Synergy can/will add to the Seattle soccer community?
I really think there is a movement with women’s sports in the US right now. My favorite women’s soccer team was the “99ers.” This team really paved the way for all women’s coaching, and sports in the US! It showed the world our women athletes were on a mission to compete on an international level. I think this playing forum in Seattle will provide a stepping stone for the youth on their way to the pro level.
Seattle Synergy will be the 54th team added to the WPSL. They will be the 7th team in the Pacific Division including 5 northern California teams and the new Portland Rain. The Synergy will begin playing in May with 4 friendly games around the Northwest and then switch to league matches beginning May 23rd and concluding July 19th. This year the WPSL final four will be in New York and be televised on FSN in August.
The WPSL was established in 1998 and is sanctioned by the United States Adult Soccer Association (USASA) as an affiliate of the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the ruling body of soccer in the United States and FIFA the world's ruling body for soccer.
More information on the Seattle Synergy:
Download: Tryouts flyer Tryouts form
David Falk has followed soccer in the Puget Sound region since 1974. This blog covers Sounders FC, local college soccer, Seattle Wolves FC, Tacoma Tide FC and Kitsap Pumas. Send tips or comments to: email@example.com
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